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Worldwide Smartphone Market Rises 27%

In the first quarter of this year, 347 million smartphones shipped worldwide, a 27 per cent year-on-year increase.

Samsung shipped 22 per cent of these, an impressive 76.5 million units, dwarfing the next-closest competitor Apple, who shipped 52.4 million (15 per cent).

Xiaomi scored a personal best this quarter with 49 million units, a 62 per cent rise year on year.

“In addition to great product value, Xiaomi is now also making strides to recruit local talent, become more channel-friendly and lead in high-end innovation, as seen with the Mi 11 Ultra and its recent foldable, the Mi Mix Fold”, explained Canalys Research Manager Ben Stanton of their quick climb.

Oppo shipped 37.6 million, pipping fifth-place Vivo, who sent 36 million smartphones out into the world.

Despite being the world’s biggest manufacturer of phones last year, Huawei has plummeted to seventh place, shipping a mere 18.6 million units. As reported earlier today, the company has just posted its second straight quarterly drop, in large part due to US trade sanctions.


LG has pulled out of the smartphone game, a move Canalys Analyst Sanyam Chaurasia feels is “symbolic of a new era” in the smartphone market.

“It proves that aggressive pricing and channel strategy are more important than hardware differentiation in the modern day,” Chaurasis says. “LG holds the majority of its share in the Americas, at 80% of its total in 2020, which presents new opportunities for the likes of Motorola, TCL, Nokia and ZTE, particularly at price points below US$200.

“As the smartphone market continues to consolidate, this will not be the last time the incumbent vendors fight over the remains of a defeated brand.”

Canalys Research Manager Ben Stanton also notes that COVID-19 is “still a major consideration, but it is no longer the main bottleneck”, citing component shortages as the “major concern.”

“And while the shortages persist,” explains Stanton, “it will grant larger companies a unique advantage, as the global brands have more power to negotiate allocation. This will put further pressure on smaller brands and could force many to follow LG out of the door.”

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